Library Planning Research


Financial Requirements

In order to develop a realistic budget model for your library or archive, it is important to assess the specific needs and requirements of the project. It is important to consider all relevant factors, including costs for both the short and long term.

There is no typical budget model for a library planning and programming scope as the cost can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the project. The field of library science and preservation/curation is rapidly evolving, with new methods and technologies emerging all the time. This can make it challenging to develop a comprehensive and effective library program. Certainly, a library master plan will help your institution keep pace with these changes. We use scenario planning to help our clients be prepared to adapt and respond to changing space use, technologies and best practices.

Our commitment is to help share library science, special library development and architectural planning techniques. We are willing to continuously evaluate and improve our practices over time. See Special Library Collections Return on Investment Discussion.


Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD developed a series of library programs for the SIL (e.g. Natural History, Portrait Gallery and Cooper Hewitt Museum). The Smithsonian Libraries has one of the world’s largest museum and research repositories. During our master library planning work, we analyzed a vast and diverse collection of artifacts, specimens, and other materials. Each collection benefited from the library master planning exercise. The library programming work identified potential planning scenarios and long term space planning to improve the special libraries.

We led our clients through a library needs assessment process. Our firm facilitated library planning workshops, organizing information through programming, community engagement and listening sessions. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD studied the environment, incorporating new technology solutions and innovations.


Part of our history is our support for Government / Federal Organizations and International Research Libraries e.g. National Libraries (Greece, Ireland, LOC), DOE, FDA, NASA, NIST, US Holocaust Museum, Office of the President and Federal Trade Commission. If you are another organization with a research focus, you should consider library programming as part of the organizations strategic planning. Here are some reasons why its important to get started:

Increased Access and Visibility: Library Programming can make the collections more accessible to researchers, educators, and the general public, both physically and virtually. This can increase the visibility and impact of the Smithsonian’s collections, and foster greater engagement and understanding.

Preservation and Conservation: Library Programming can help to preserve and conserve the collections, making it possible to digitize and store fragile or rare items in a secure and accessible format.

Research and Analysis: Library Programming can facilitate research and analysis of the collections, enabling new insights and discoveries. This can include everything from identifying new species to studying the cultural heritage of various communities.

Collaboration and Partnerships: Library Programming can facilitate collaboration and partnerships between the institutions and organizations, enabling the sharing of information and resources and promoting cross-disciplinary research and education.

Sustainability: Library Programming can support the sustainability of the collections, as well as the organization’s operations and mission, by reconfiguring physical shelving/storage space and improving the effectiveness of leadership / management.


Our library programming work analyzes impact and the budget for a project life cycle. This may include the following:

Space Requirements, Equipment and Furnishing Costs: This can include hardware and software for capturing, preserving, and accessing library and/or archive materials.

E-Resource Requirements, Licensing and DAM Integration Costs: This can include hardware and software for capturing, preserving, and accessing digital materials.

Operations and Staffing Costs: This can include existing and future salaries and benefits for research and curatorial operations.

Storage Costs: This can include costs for storing materials in physical and/or cloud-based repositories.

Preservation and Maintenance Life Cycle: This can include costs for preserving materials over time, as well as costs for regularly monitoring and updating them.

Access and Circulation: This can include costs for making library and/or archival materials available to users, and providing access to digital collections.

Library Master Planning

It is important to note that while the cost of research space can be significant. The benefits can outweigh the costs in the long term. Note, library programming and requirements specifications will result in strategic service priorities. Basically, the library master plan can ensure that your library is more accessible and usable over time.

Creating a library master plan involves several stages. CONTACT AARON COHEN ASSOCIATES.

A library master plan is also known as:

  • Preservation life cycle
  • Asset management life cycle
  • Records management plan
  • Curation Plan
  • Preservation and archive master plan
  • Electronic records management
  • Information management master plan
  • Heritage building program
  • Library management and operations plan